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Indian Bank ramping up overseas ops in Sri Lanka, Singapore: CEO Kharat

Indian Bank had taken steps to increase business levels as there was 'slight stagnancy earlier'

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

Indian bank, PSB,
Indian bank branch

Public sector has undertaken initiatives to increase business at its overseas branches in Sri Lanka and Singapore, a top official has said.

"Our operations (in overseas) are actually profitable. We have started ramping up activities in both the centres," the bank's Managing Director and CEO, Kishor Kharat told PTI.

He said the bank had taken steps to increase business levels as there was "slight stagnancy earlier" (in the bank operations).

"Having understood the policies, we are in a position to grow in the In the nine-month period (ending December 31, 2017) alone, our business there improved by (Rs 13 billion) Rs 1,300 crore", he said.

By end of the current fiscal, the business levels in Singapore "will be increased by Rs 15 billion to Rs 16 billion," he said.

On the Sri Lankan operations, Kharat said the business in the two branches grew by Rs 1.5 billion as of December 2017.

"Sri Lankan operations are slightly smaller than Singapore operations. Before March (2018), we will be in a position to show a growth of close to Rs 5 billion there."

On whether the bank was looking at expanding overseas presence, he said two branches were planned, one each in Dubai and other a "overseas banking operation" branch in Ahmedabad.

"We have applied for two licenses. One, we are planning to open in AFC Dubai and the other at (Gujarat International Tec-City), Ahmedabad. It will be branch," he said.

ON FUND RAISING


On diluting the government stake in the Bank as per regulations, Kharat said there was enough time for that and the bank would raise funds at the "opportune time."

"Government of India has not given us any capital. We have adequate capital. Today Government of India has 81.87 per cent holding in bank. As per regulations, we have to bring it down to less than 75 per cent.To comply with SEBI, we will have to come out with issuance of fresh equity", he said.

Kharat said for fund raising there was time for the bank.

"There is still time for us. By next financial year, we have to comply with the guidelines (of SEBI). So when the market is good and when there is opportune time, we will be raising some funds", he said.

ON NON PERFORMING ASSETS

To a query about Non-Performing Assets, he said the bank was able to contain NPA in the last one year and planned to bring down the Gross NPA to less than six per cent and Net NPA to less than three per cent.

"Gross NPA has been brought down from 7.69 per cent to 6.27 per cent and net NPA from 4.76 per cent to 3.30 per cent (as on December 31, 2017). Now, this 3.30 per cent is best in the industry. Particularly in public sector banks," he said.

By March or by June of the next financial year, the bank would be in a position to push the net NPA to less than 3 per cent and Gross NPA by less than 6 per cent, he said.

"Our plan is that gross NPA at 5.5 per cent and net NPA at 2.5 per cent," he said.

To a query on those areas which the bank would focus, he said, it would be on retail, agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprise sectors.

"All the growth is coming from these three segments. Within agriculture we are giving mostly to small and marginal farmers and under our focus is on the micro enterprises," he said.

First Published: Sun, February 18 2018. 14:15 IST
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